Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 17, 2014

Percentage of all employees who report that they feel guilty using all of their allotted vacation days, according to a poll of full-time working adults conducted on behalf of Randstad: 26

Despite this sense of guilt, percentage who report feeling more productive after they return from vacation: 67

Source: Randstad-USA.

Percentage of Americans who say companies should be allowed to refuse to hire people because they are significantly overweight, according to a Gallup poll: 12

Percentage who say companies should be allowed to refuse to hire smokers: 14

Source: Gallup.

Among cheaters who were asked their reason for cheating, percentage who said, "It just happened," according to an Adam & Eve survey about couples' sexual habits: 45

Percentage who said they did it because "it was exciting": 33

Source: Adam & Eve.

Year that one of the engines of business and personal life in the 21st century, the World Wide Web, was developed and released by two scientists at the Cern Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1991

Percentage of households in the U.S. that have Internet access at home, and includes about 95 percent of all homes with computers: 75

Percentage of Americans over the age of 3 who have multiple avenues and devices to connect to the Web: 25

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Number of used vehicles taken off U.S. roads due to 2009's "Cash for Clunkers," as well as historically poor sales years from 2008 to 2012, according to ALG: 700,000

As a result of the strength of new car sales and the popularity of short 24- and 36-month leases, projected percentage retentive value of a new car after three years: 49.4

Source: ALG.

In 2013, approximate number of consumer accounts that third-party debt collectors received from creditor clients, according to findings of a new survey by Ernst & Young and the debt collection trade association ACA International: 1 billion

Face value of these accounts: $756 billion

Amount actually recovered (7 percent): $55.2 billion

Source: Ernst & Young LLP.

Rank of Nantucket, Massachusetts, the idyllic island located about 30 miles south of Cape Cod, on the list of North America's most expensive destinations in terms of its lodging cost, according to a survey from CheapHotels.org: 1

On average, amount of money visitors to Nantucket will have to spend per night for the most affordable double room: $301

Ranks of Portland, Maine ($276), Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts ($274), and Montauk, New York, ($264) on the list: 2, 3, 4

Source: Cheaphotels.org.

Percentage of families who agree that college is a worthwhile investment, according to How America Pays for College 2014, a national study from Sallie Mae and Ipsos: 98

On average, percentage of college costs paid by family: 42

Percentage paid with loans (the lowest level in five years): 22

Percentage of college costs paid by grants and scholarships: 31

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs

Estimated amount of money that Americans spent on pet products and services in 2013, according to the Brown, Gibbons, Lang & Co. report: $62 billion

Source: Brown, Gibbons, Lang & Co.

Estimated amount of money spent by the 33 million anglers in the United States on expenses related to the sport, including equipment, transportation and lodging, according to research conducted by Southwick Associates Inc. on behalf of the American Sportfishing Association: $48 billion

Number of jobs these expenditures support: 828,000

Source: Southwick Associates Inc.

Idle Thought

"An honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offense; a vain man, in order that it may." -- William Hazlitt, essayist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)